At the far edge of the North American continent, the sun hangs warm and bright in a cloudless sky. A cool breeze drifts in from the blue Pacific, lightly bending the blossom-laden branches of neighborhood cherry trees.
Couples, both old and young, stroll – stroll is the word for walking at this pace – to the greengrocer for dinner vegetables that can be barbecued along with the Mexican-spiced chicken that will go with the just-made guacamole. Friends from the next street over stop to admire the sidewalk chalk-drawing of a house made by the little blonde girl that will someday be selling Girl Scout cookies down by the MUNI station at the corner.
Young men and women sit on rooftops overlooking the Golden Gate, drinking ice-cold beer, listening to music and laughing. The day itself will seem to last forever, then drift into evening, when a designated sub-group will run to Safeway to buy the makings of a picnic supper, which will be eaten on the roof as well. By summer, the roof will be too cold for lounging this way in the afternoon; the fog will chill and wet every exterior surface, so this group, and a thousand others like it, will retreat to old favorite bars. YouTube will play endless 60-second loops of their happily endless day for special friends who know the URL and the 1.8 million friends and friends of friends they’ve forwarded it to.
Bikes, dusty with months of garage storage, are hastily brushed off and ridden to anywhere green. City parks and beaches are filled with people playing and walking their dogs; Frisbees, balls and animals flying every which way until well past the official sunset hour of 6:06 pm.
It is a Sunday to file away and remember nostalgically when things are not so warmly perfect. Life is peaceful and good. The hills of Marin appear to be only spitting distance away. Even strangers nod and say hello.